Ukraine accuses Russia of blowing up Nova Kakhovka dam near Kherson

Drone footage appears to show central section of Nova Kakhovka dam missing.

The Ukrainian government has accused Russia of blowing up the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River, and called for people living downstream to evacuate in the face of catastrophic flooding.

As aerial footage circulated on social media, showing most of the dam wall washed away and a massive surge of water heading downstream, the army’s Southern Operational Command put up a Facebook post, accusing “Russian occupation troops” of blowing up the hydroelectric dam. The governor of the Kherson region, Oleksandr Prokudin, said that about 16,000 people were in the “critical zone” on the Ukrainian-controlled right bank of the river. He said people were being evacuated for districts upstream of Kherson city and would be taken to bus to the city and then by train to Mykolaiv, and to other Ukrainian cities, Khmelnytskyi, Odesa, Kropyvnytskyi, and Kyiv.

The disaster happened on the second day of Ukrainian offensive operations likely to mark the early stages of a mass counteroffensive. It could affect any Ukrainian plans for an amphibious assault across the river. “The purpose is obvious: to create insurmountable obstacles on the way of the advancing [Ukrainian army] … to slow down the fair final of the war,” a Ukrainian presidential adviser, Mikhailo Podolyak, said on Twitter. “On a vast territory, all life will be destroyed; many settlements will be ruined; colossal damage will be done to the environment.”



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